Tonight’s Game 6 featured everything we’ve been wanting to see from the Nashville Predators.
There was plenty of spiciness to begin the game from both teams. Andrew Hammond made some solid saves early in the first. Colton Sissons found the back of the net, but it was ruled that Kyle Turris interfered with Andrew Hammond. Hammond was in white ice outside his crease, and the Predators lost their challenge.
On the very next play, Mattias Ekholm answered with a laser of a shot for the Predators’ first goal of the evening. The third line continued to challenge the Avalanche in the next shift, and Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons, and Austin Watson combined for a beautiful tap-in with about 10 minutes gone in the first period.
The Avalanche continued to pressure in the closing minutes of the first. The Predators went on the power play late in the first after P.K. Subban was slashed. They would begin the second period with 7 seconds remaining on the power play.
Right after Nashville’s power play expired at the beginning of the second, Filip Forsberg and Arvidsson were spring for a breakaway, and Forsberg put in a gorgeous goal under Hammond’s arm. With around 14 minutes remaining in the second, bad-guy Sven Andrighetto cross-checked Arvidsson and was whistled for a penalty. Understandably, the Avalanche were a little more than upset at this call. Somehow, Arvidsson was also called for embellishment, but two Avs were next to him in their penalty box. Another Nashville power play!
The power play would expire without any good looks, but as soon as the teams returned to even strength, Nick Bonino’s shot leaked through Hammond for Nashville’s fourth goal of the contest. Nathan MacKinnon was without a stick and the Predators were able to take advantage.
Nashville continued to pressure through the second half of the second period. Right before time expired at the end of the second, Ryan Ellis tripped Mikko Rantanen. Ellis was immediately tackled by Nikita Zadorov. Ellis was whistled for a minor penalty, and Zadorov was given both a 2-minute minor and a 10-minute misconduct. The Avalanche were incredibly frustrated going into the second intermission.
The Avalanche began the third period with more fire and determination than seen in the previous five games. A beautiful chip from Subban to Arvidsson for Nashville’s 5th goal, however, froze the Avalanche’s momentum.
A power play late in the third period did not result in any significant chances on goal, but the arena remained rather silent although Colorado continued their attack. The remaining fans continued to support their Avalanche and continued to cheer for their boys.
The Colorado Avalanche have many incredibly skilled and speedy players. They have plenty of tools to do some damage in the Central Division for many years to come. They’re trending upward and they could be a potential Central rival for Nashville after this series. The Avalanche had an incredible 2017-2018 season.
- Kevin Fiala on the fourth line...okay.
- Is that a goal? Hammond was not in the blue ice!!!
- I’ve spotted an angry Coach Lavy.
- Are you serious? Hammond was miles outside his crease but it’s still interference. I don’t even know what interference is anymore. No one does.
- Matty Ekholm responds on the next shift for a goal.
- Viktor Arvidsson straight up nailed Nathan MacKinnon along the boards.
- Austin Watson puts a puck into an empty net!!!! 2-0 Nashville.
- Filip Forsberg puts in Nashville’s third goal of the evening! 3-0.
- Austin Watson needs a purple heart and the Conn-Smythe. This guy blocks shots and scores goals.
- Miikka Salomaki almost had a goal right there.
- How is Arvi in the box? Embellishment?
- GOAL! Boninoboninobonino!!!!!! 4-0.
- Pekka Rinne takes a big hit by Carl Soderberg and the officials immediately wave off the goal. The call on-ice is no goal.
- After Colorado’s challenge, the call on the ice is upheld. No goal, 2:33 seconds remaining in the second.
- Why isn’t Zadorov ejected from this game yet? No matter, we don’t have to deal with him for half of the third period. Arrivederci, Felicia.
- I screamed at Arvidsson’s goal. Screamed. What a pass from P.K. Subban. 5-0.
- That power play was meh.
- The Colorado fans are giving their boys a standing “O” and it’s well deserved. That has to give the team some heart and some motivation for next season.
- Now to prepare for the Winnipeg Jets...
Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Austin Watson: A huge game tonight from new father/toothless wonder Austin Watson. He blocks shots, he scores goals, he does it all. Watson has had a monster series against Colorado. The third line of Watson-Bonino-Sissons is incredibly dangerous and very versatile.
- Mattias Ekhom: The tall bearded Swedish defenseman quickly answered after Nashville’s no-goal early in the first period.
- Pekka Rinne: Another excellent road game from our tall Finnish netminder. He posted a beautiful shutout on the road.
Nick Bonino, Viktor Arvidsson, and Filip Forsberg also deserve mentions for their excellent game tonight.
Tweets of the Night
The frequency that the Avalanche enter the zone with possession seems very high.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) April 22, 2018
And then, it doesn't matter anyway. Mattias Ekholm with the first goalie for a Preds defenseman in the playoffs. Also leads Preds defensemen with 6 points. That one was wicked.— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) April 22, 2018
How good have the #Preds been at protecting Rinne in this game?— Justin Bradford (@justinbbradford) April 23, 2018
They have 11 blocked shots...by 10 different players.
Find someone who smiles at you the same way Arvidsson does whenever he scores— Bobby Misey (@Bmisey) April 23, 2018
#Preds' Ekholm team-best plus-4 tonight and team-best plus-9 through 6 games of series.— John Glennon (@glennonsports) April 23, 2018
Pretty much a perfect road game from the #Preds. A complete game, which I think is important before heading into round two.— Robby Stanley (@RStanleyNHL) April 23, 2018